Welcome to my Blog - Ruud Leeuw


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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) - Bishop George Berkeley


In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.
http://www.blurb.com/user/ruudleeuw

CURRENT BLOG

 

 

Following was sent to me by Michael Clayton, ending the year on a wry note (note that last listing, at the bottom!):

The (London) DAILY TELEGRAPH newspaper, of 29DEC2009, has published this 'Bookmakers List'. It's all about the odds of airlines likely to go bust. Or not, as we fervently hope.
Just how serious it is meant to be, is for you to decide!
4/1 Monarch
11/2 Wizz Air
11/2 Finnair
13/2 Malev
9/1 Aer Arann
10/1 Spanair
10/1 Jet2
11/1 B A
14/1 Aer Lingus
14/1 Thomson Airways
16/1 Vueling Airlines
18/1 Bmibaby
20/1 Qantas
20/1 Air Berlin
25/1 Scandinavian airlines
33/1 United Airlines
33/1 Aegean Airlines
33/1 Air One
40/1 Thomas Cook Airlines
40/1 Germanwings
40/1 Flybe
50/1 LOT
50/1 JetBlue
66/1 Czech Airlines
80/1 easyJet
80/1 Virgin Atlantic
80/1 Ryanair
100/1 Lufthansa
100/1 Air France-KLM
100/1 Aeroflot
100/1 Turkish Airlines
100/1 Singapore Airlines
500/1 Vatican Airlines
1000/1 Air Force One ....

The article refers to bookmaker Paddy Power, who said he headed the list with Monarch because he had received more than 100 bets in the last week that this airline will suffer the same fate as FlyGlobespan, which collapsed 2 weeks ago. Monarch, though, insists that there is no reason for passengers to worry. In early Sep.2008, Paddy Power stopped taking bets on XL Leisure after receiving over 200 bets in 24 hours that it would be the next airline to fail...

[31DEC09]
 

 
MY VIEW ON 2009

Internationally:
It struck me that large banks and financial institutions, which have caused the 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS ('THE CREDIT CRUNCH'), and which brought on the 2009 GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS, seem to get away with their irresponsible behaviour!
Most countries saw their governments jump to the aid of the teethering banks, shoring them up with huge cash injections and favourable loans.
In the 2nd half of 2009 many banks started to repay those loans, with funding from new share emissions. Not because of common sense, but rather to avoid ruling by governments on putting restrictions on the irresponsible bonuses the bankmanagers share among themselves.
Greed, plain and simple.
While I object to large corporations handing out similar outrageous bonuses, corporations are much less likely to throw entire economies in a depression. While banks have clearly been proven to do so.
Banks are now quickly recovering due to share emissions and other measures to protect them, but many national economies will be depressed for years to come while dealing with an unbalanced budget and deficits...
Those money-grabbing bank directors have to be stopped.

Nationally:
I never would have thought a bank would go bust in the Netherlands, the DSB proved to be an eye-opener.
Governments and analysts keep telling we are definitely recovering from the GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS, that we are out of the RECESSION, but I don't believe them.
Many friends of mine are out of a job, with as yet little hope to find one in the near future. The company I work for saw its workforce cut in half by redundacies. Official figures show the Netherlands had its largest drop in 25 years when 2009 3rd quarter had 140.000 jobs less than the 3rd quarter in 2008.
By Sep.2008 398.000 people were jobless in the Netherlands, this is about 5% of the workforce. Average for Europe is 10% (Spain 17,4%).
2010 is expected to see even more people unemployed, while politicians hammer home their mantra: "we are climbing out of the recession". Useless buggers!!
If I would have a wish for 2010, I would wish for a clear reversal of those unemployment statistics!

[30DEC09]
 

 
THROUGH THE LENS

National Geographic greatest photographers (published October 2003)

Bought this book recently, a veritable treasure trove of brilliant photography.
Through the lens
250 photos were selected from an archive of over ten million.... A great joy to pick up every now and then and get inspired by such wonderful photography with subjects far & wide, recent and of decades ago.
www.nationalgeographic.com
[26DEC09]
 

 
SEASON'S GREETINGS!!!
Afrikaans ---- Geseende Kerfees en 'n gelukkige nuwe jaar
Albanian ---- Gézuar Krishlindjet Vitin e Ri!
Amharic ---- Melkam Yelidet Beaal
Arabic ---- I'D Miilad Said ous Sana Saida
Aramaic ---- Edo bri'cho o rish d'shato brich'to!
Armenian ---- Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Aromunian ---- Crãciunu hãriosu shi unu anu nãu, bunu!
Azeri ---- Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Bahasa Malaysia ---- Selamat Hari Natal
Basque ---- Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
Belorussian ---- Winshuyu sa Svyatkami i z Novym godam!
Bengali ---- Shuvo Baro Din - Shuvo Nabo Barsho
Bicolano ---- Maugmang Capascuhan asin Masaganang Ba gong Taon!
Bohemian ---- Vesele Vanoce
Brazilian ---- Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
Breton ---- Nedeleg laouen na bloav ezh mat
Bulgarian ---- Vesela Koleda; Tchestita nova godina!
Catalan ---- Bon nadal i feliç any nou!
Cantonese ---- Seng Dan Fai Lok, Sang Nian Fai Lok
Cebuano ---- Malipayong Pasko ug Bulahang Bagong Tuig!
Choctaw ---- Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Cornish ---- Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Corsican ---- Bon Natale e Bon capu d' annu
Cree ---- Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Creek ---- Afvcke Nettvcakorakko
Croatian ----Sretan Bo i i sretna Nova godina
Czech ---- Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish ---- Glædelig Jul og godt nytår
Duri ---- Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak
Dutch ---- Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
Egyptian ---- Colo sana wintom tiebeen
English ---- Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Eskimo ---- Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!
Esperanto ---- Gajan Kristnaskon
Estonian ---- Rõõmsaid Jõulupühi Head uut aastat
Euskera ---- Zorionak eta Urte Berri On
Faeroese ---- Gledhilig jól og eydnurikt nýggjár!
Farsi ---- Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
Finnish ---- Hyvää Joulua or Hauskaa Joulua
Flemish ---- Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French ---- Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!
Frisian ---- Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!
Friulian ---- Bon Nadâl e Bon An Gnûf
Gaelic ---- Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ur!
Galician ---- Bon Nadal e Bo Ani Novo
German ---- Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!
Greek ---- Kala Christougenna Kieftihismenos O Kenourios Chronos
Greenlandic ---- Juullimi Ukiortaassamilu Pilluarit
Hausa ---- Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Hawaiian ---- Mele Kalikimaka & Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Hebrew ---- Mo'adim Lesimkha. Shana Tova
Hindi ---- Shub Naya Baras
Hungarian ---- Kellemes karácsonyi ünnepeket és boldog új évet!
Iban ----Selamat Ari Krismas enggau Taun Baru
Icelandic ---- Gleðileg Jól og Farsaelt Komandi ár!
Ilocano ---- Naimbag a Pascua ken Naragsac nga Baro nga Tawen!
Indonesian ---- Selamat Hari Natal
Iraqi ---- Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish ----Nollaig Shona Dhuit
Italian ---- Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo
Japanese ---- Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Jèrriais ---- Bouan Noué et Bouanne Année
Kadazan ----Kotobian Tadau Do Krimas om Toun Vagu
Karelian ---- Rastawanke Sinun, Uvven Vuvenke Sinun
Korean ---- Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Krio ---- Appi Krismes en Appi Niu Yaa
Kurdish ---- Seva piroz sahibe u sersala te piroz be
Ladin ---- Bon Nadel y Bon Ann Nuef
Lappic ---- Buorit Juovllat ja Buorre Oddajahki
Latin ---- Natale hilare et Annum Nuovo!
Latvian ---- Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!
Lausitzian ---- Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto
Lithuanian ---- Linksmu Kaledu ir laimingu Nauju metu
Livian ---- Riiemlizi Talspividi ja pagin vonno udaigastos
Low Saxon ---- Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar
Luxemburgish ---- Schéi Krëschtdeeg an e Schéint Néi Joer
Macedonian ---- Streken Bozhik
Malay ---- Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru
Malayalam ---- Puthuvalsara Aashamsakal
Maltese ---- Nixtieklek Milied tajjeb u is-sena t-tabja!
Mandarin ---- Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Manx ---- Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa
Maori ---- Meri Kirihimete
Marathi ---- Shub Naya Varsh
Mongolian ---- Zul saryn bolon shine ony mend devshuulye
Monogasque ---- Festusu Natale e Bona ana noeva
Netherland --- Prettige kerstdagen en een gelukkig nieuw jaar
Norwegian ---- God Jul og Godt Nyttår
Occitan ---- Polit nadal e bona annada
Oriya ---- Sukhamaya christmass ebang khusibhara naba barsa
Pampamgo ---- Malugud Pascu at saca Masayang Bayung Banua!
Papiamento ---- Bon Pasco y un Feliz Aña Nobo
Papua New Guinea ---- Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
Pashto ---- De Christmas akhtar de bakhtawar au newai kal de mubarak sha
Pennsylvania German ---- En frehlicher Grischtdaag unen hallich Nei Yaahr!
Polish ---- Wesolych Swiat i Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese ---- Boas Festas e um feliz Ano Novo
Punjabi ---- Nave sal di mubaraka
Pushto ---- Christmas Aao Ne----way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha
Raeto----Ramance ---- Bella Festas da zNadal ed in Ventiravel Onn Nov
Rapa----Nui ---- Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
Rhetian ---- Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn
Romanche ---- Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!
Romani (GYPSY) ---- Bachtalo krecunu Thaj Bachtalo Nevo Bers
Romanian ---- Craciun fericit si un An Nou fericit!
Russian ---- Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva i s Novim Godom
Sambal ---- Maligayang Pasko at Masayang Ba-yon Taon!
Sami ---- Buorrit Juovllat
Samoan ---- La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Sardian ---- Felize Nadale e Bonu Cabuannu
Sardinian ---- Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou
Scots Gaelic ---- Nollaig chridheil huibh
Serbian ---- Hristos se rodi
Serb-Croatian ---- Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina
Sicilian ---- Bon Natali e Prosperu Annu Novu !
Singhalese ---- Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Sorbian ---- Wjesole hody a strowe Nowe leto
Somali ---- ciid wanaagsan iyo sanad cusub oo fiican
Slovakian ---- Vesele Vianoce a stastny novy rok
Slovak ---- Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovene ---- Vesele bozicne praznike in srecno novo leto
Sorbian ---- Wjesole hody a strowe Nowe leto
Spanish ---- Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Surigaonon ---- Malipayon na pasko sanan bag-on tuig!
Swahili ---- ºKrismas Njema Na Heri Za Mwaka Mpyaº
Swedish ---- God Jul och Gott Nytt År
Sudanese ---- Wilujeng Natal Sareng Warsa Enggal
Tagalog ---- Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon
Tamil ---- Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal
Thai ---- Suksan Wan Christmas lae Sawadee Pee Mai
Tok Pisin ---- Meri Krismas & Hepi Nu Yia
Tongan ---- Kilisimasi Fiefia & Ta'u fo'ou monu ia
Trukeese ---- Neekirissimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!
Tswana ---- Keresemose o monate le masego a ngwaga o montsha
Turkish ---- Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian ---- Veseloho Vam Rizdva i Shchastlyvoho Novoho Roku!
Urdu ---- Naya Saal Mubarak Ho
Vepsi ---- Rastvoidenke i Udenke Vodenke
Vietnamese ---- Chuc Mung Giang Sinh- Chuc Mung Tan Nien
Waray- ---- Maupay nga Pasko ngan Mainuswagon nga Bago nga Tuig!
Welsh ---- Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Xhosa ---- Siniqwenelela Ikrisimesi EmnandI Nonyaka Omtsha Ozele Iintsikelelo Namathamsanqa
Yayeya ---- Krisema
Yiddish ---- Gute Vaynakhtn un a Gut Nay Yor
Yoruba ---- E ku odun, e hu iye' dun!
Zulu ---- Sinifesela Ukhisimusi Omuhle Nonyaka Omusha Onempumelelo
Merry Christmas!

25DEC09
 

 
THE DUTCH AND THEIR HEALTHCARE

By now we of the Lowlands have become accustomed to long waiting lists for any serious surgery, even in life threatening situations such when as diagnosed with an aneurism. One may have to wait 6 months or more. Insurance companies cover certain medical bills if people go abroad (Turkey, Thailand) for treatment.
Patients are sometimes given up on because surgery would be too life-threatening, even if their condition is without hope for survival without surgery. People go to Belgium and Germany for a second opinion and find help there.

My father underwent surgery in 1997 and almost died 3 times during his 4 months stay: an incorrect diet during recovery from surgery ruptured his gall bladder and he was rushed to intensive care again for immediate surgery. Later Intensive Care became infected by a bacteria and this settled in the wound - his condition worsened and we were called to the hospital during Christmas: he was given up on. But the tough bugger hung on to life and steadily improved.
Only days before he was going to be discharged, my father started choking and pressed the alarmbutton: no one appeared. The person next to him was unable to walk or call out, but threw his bedpan in the corridor! This brought a nurse to my father's bed and she was able to attend to him. The explanation why no one showed up initially: 'we were in a meeting and people call us all the time, if we don't ignore some of them we never get a chance to hold a meeting!'
My father was discharged and lived another 11 years, which wouldn't have been possible without expertise medical help. But capacity is thin on the ground in the Dutch hospitals and you'll have to take your chances.

This week a colleague told me he had to take his wife to hospital after she fell and hurt her hand & wrist. He went to First Aid at the nearest hospital and was told the waiting time for an x-ray and treatment was 7 hours!
This is after we've had 2 days of snow in the Netherlands...
She took some heavy painkillers and they went home, properly disgusted.
Probably the worse thing is that the government, and higher echelon of our health services, hold on to the opinion that our health service is of an excellent standard and they actually look down on countries where we have to go to for treatment!!!
24DEC09
 

 
REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT


Recently read about Freya Hoffmeister of Germany, she circled the entire continent of Australia in her kayak. She did this in 332 days: 18jan09- 15Dec09, start and finish at Queenscliff.
The record for this astounding feat dated from 1982, when someone from New Zealand did the same thing, covering a distance of 13.000 kilometers.
Freya encountered crocodiles, deathly jellyfish, poisonous snakes and even was attacked by a shark (which lost a teeth in the attempt!).
Some feats are larger than life, I would say. Congratulations!

http://qajaqunderground.com

21DEC09
 

 
A DAY TO CELEBRATE: December 17th
Congratulations Alexander, Frank, Hein...

Jeff Rankin-Lowe provided a list showing what Dec.17th meant in aviation:

17 December 1903
- At 1035 hrs at Kill Devil Hills in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville Wright pilots the Wright Flyer on a 36.5-meter (120-foot) flight lasting 12 seconds.

17 December 1917
- German Navy Oberleutnant Christiansen, flying a Brandenburg W12 seaplane, shoots down the British non-rigid airship C27.

17 December 1918
- The Aero Club of America lifts its ban on flying over cities, allowing pilots certified as "expert" aviators to overfly populated areas. Post Office pilots had been permitted to do this since August.

17 December 1935
- Douglas choose this famous date, the anniversary of powered flight, to make the first flight of their new Douglas Sleeper Transport (DST). Better known as the DC-3, Dakota, or C-47, this aircraft arguably becomes the most famous transport aircraft in history.

17 December 1943
- Orville Wright, on the 40th Anniversary of making his first flight, presents the Collier Trophy for outstanding achievement in aviation to his former pupil, General H.H. "Hap" Arnold.

17 December 1944
- The 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Force is formed in Utah, to carry out United States atom bomb operations. - Major Richard Ira Bong, the United States Army Air Force's most successful fighter pilot of the Second World War, scores his 40th and final victory.

17 December 1948
- The 45th Anniversary of the first powered flight by the Wright brothers is celebrated by the return to the Smithsonian Institution of the original Wright Flyer, which had been on display in the London Science Museum for many years.

17 December 1950
- A National Emergency is declared in the United States, with plans to speed up production of military equipment.

17 December 1951
- The United States Air Force claims that its 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing in Korea has destroyed 130 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15s over the last 12 months, with the loss of only fourteen F-86 Sabres.

17 December 1969
- The first Lockheed C-5A Galaxy is handed over to the United States Air Force at Marietta in Georgia.

17 December 1971
- A cease-fire in the Indian-Pakistan war is called and accepted by both sides.

17 December 1981
- A Hughes OH-6A helicopter, using controllable pressurized air release instead of a tail rotor, makes a successful first flight.

17 December 1985
- The 50th anniversary of the Douglas DC-3: it is estimated that on this date around 350 are still in commercial service.

17 December 1993
- The first B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is delivered to the United States Air Force.

17 December 2003
- On the 100th anniversary of the Wright Flyer's achievement, SpaceShipOne is the first privately-built, manned aircraft to fly faster than the speed of sound.

18DEC09
 
 

CHEEKY BUGGER!

Blue Heron

This week this blue heron literally dropped in on our garden and pond. No doubt interested in a good size fish. The fish have survived sofar thanks to the contraption I have built to protect the fish from this predator...
I don't mind its visit, but rather see it getting its meal from the many waterways in the area.
17DEC09
 

 
TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION


Read this in Time magazine, issue 21Dec09:

A teenage bandit accused of stealing planes and speedboats has become a legend in the Pacific Northwest.
Visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the bald eagles in Washington State's Puget Sound are more likely to see a a different bird in the sky: a police chopper skimming the cedar forests in search of an outlaw. Colton Harris-Moore, a gangly 18-year old has been on the police blotters since he was accused of stealing a bike at the age of 8.
Since then he is suspected of having committed nearly 100 burglaries in Washington, Idaho and Canada. Police allege that he graduated from bikes to cars, then to speedboats. Lately he is suspected of stealing 3 small aircraft - without ever having taken flying lessons.
Harris-Moore has become a legend in the Pacific Northwest. His Facebook fanclub has over 8.000 members.
He had a rough past. His abusive father walked out after choking him during an argument at a family barbecue. His mother raised him in a mobile home, dragged into the woods on the island's South End.
Recently his crimes became more brazen. He's been accused of stealing speedboats to travel to nearby islands to plunder empty homes. In novenber 2008, police suspect that Harris-Moore hot-wired a Cessna that belongedto a local radio DJ - he'd ordered a flying manual on the Internet - and crash-landed it 300 miles (some 480 kms) east on an Indian reservation. Since then, he may have stolen 2 other planes, both of which were later found crashed. He apparently walked away from the wrecks unharmed.
His mother's reaction: "I hope to hell he stole those planes, I'd be so proud, but next time I want him to wear a parachute."

The above is an abbreviated version of the full-page article in Time magazine.

[15DEC09]
 

  A few years ago I saw and heard a talented singer/songwriter play at a festival in Holland. Bought his cd 'Tuscola' and was hooked...
Meanwhile he has released other cd's, but here I would like to draw attention to his blog:
THE RAIN & THE RAIL 'paintings, poems, musings and more from singer-songwriter Nathan Hamilton.'
I would like to reproduce something he posted on his blog last month:

A Hidden Frame

i'm not convinced
not yet anyway
i'll admit
you do seem fearless
confidant
at ease
Nathan Hamilton, musician, poet, painter but there is something there
in the way you just shifted your weight
from one leg to the other
it was just a hint
a hidden frame
some slight sign of weariness
visible behind that smile and nod
that says you would really love to just lie down
it would be welcomed
i assure you
no mocking tone would ride the breath
of anyone here
warm tea and cool rags
would be delivered with all sincerity
your feet
washed with unguarded hands
i understand that these days
do not allow for the embracing of anything earnest
that the cynics tongue is the rule
and to stand before another with open arms
and not a trace of irony
is to play the fool
but i am willing to take that part on
are you

NH on Flickr.com
www.nathanhamilton.com


[07DEC09]
 

  West Siberia, Salym Petroleum Development FAR & WIDE -II
In reference to below, here is a website reader from far & beyond: West Siberia!

Oleg, who made these photos last september and more recently, wrote:
"I'm working for Shell on their West Siberian project, Salym Petroleum Development. West Salym Oilfield, CPF camp: N60deg 17'29", E070deg 53'51" - www.salympetroleum.ru.

Rather civilized place these days, although it used to be quite a middle-of-nothing when we came here 6 years ago (Google Earth and Google Maps are still showing only taiga here, as it used to be in 2004). Well, taiga and swamps, bears and elks, lots of snow and very cold - it's all still here, and to illustrate my point I just walked outside and took a picture of our outside temperature display for drivers... a fox was sitting outside of the front porch, waiting for somebody to feed it).
Inside - it's somewhat different now. We've got a well-established and developed field with lot of process and infrastructure facilities, including quite comfy accommodations as well."

[04DEC09]
 

 

Web visitors
FAR & WIDE -I

I am amazed by the amount of visitors each months to my website and it is wonderful to see where they all are!
Thanks to Clustrmaps for making this possible!


[02DEC09]
 

 
AIRPORT BOSS EXECUTED

On 07Aug09 the former head of the company that owns Beijing Capital Int'l Airport was executed!
He was reportedly convicted of bribery and embezzlement to the value of $16 million, according to Chinese state media.
Mr Li Peiying, the former Chairman and General Manager of Capital Airports Holding Company (CAH), was executed in the eastern city of Jinan, Xinhua, after the Supreme People's Court upheld his sentence. His original conviction came in February, after the bribery and embezzlement took place between 1995 and 2003.
CAH operates more than 30 airports, including Beijing Capital Int'l Airport and has assets worth over 10 billion yuan and employs more than 38.000 people.
[Source: Airports International, nov.2009]


[30NOV09]
 

 

David Bailey, photographer
When I started to take photos, in the 1970s, for information and inspiration I mainly turned to magazines published in the UK. German photo mags were equally good, but the language wasn't/isn't as easy on the eye as English. The Dutch magazines were too arty for me.
Those English magazines ran for a long time an advert series of Olympus cameras. The slogan was, 'Bailey who..?" and featured a portrait of David Bailey holding an Olympus OM-. camera.
It must have influenced my choice of camera equipment.

Not to know him was rediculous, everybody knew him as Mr Bailey was 'rock 'n roll', not just about photography. The (Rolling) Stones, Michael Caine and David Bailey were a league of their own.
Mr Bailey drove a Rolls Royce, dressed extravagantly, was married to Rosemary Bramble (1960), Catherine Deneuve (1967, divorced 1972), model Marie Helvin (1975) and actress Catherine Dyer (1986). He also had 'relations' with many models, extending the 'swinging sixties' for many more years.
Mr Bailey mingled with Royalty but also the notorious East End gangsters, The Kray Twins. He lived the high life.

In 1966, the movie Blowup was made. The film concerned itself with the work (and sexual perks) of a London fashion photographer who was largely based on Bailey.
Bailey also directed several television commercials and documentaries.

Those two books, David Bailey on Photography and Trouble and Strife, are still with me. Never could dump them as I have done so many books from those days. And he, David Bailey, is still around! Born on 02Jan1938, he is still productive and offers amazing photography:
www.davidbaileyphotography.com

www.biographybase.com
WIKIPEDIA

[26NOV09]
 
 

Olympus OM-1 and beyond

Although my first SLR camera was a camera manufactured in East Germany, an Exakta VX500, for me photography started in earnest with an Olympus OM-1, in 1976.
In 1978 I bought a 2nd OM-1 body. After many years these were gradually replaced by an OM-2SP and OM-4Ti. These camera were reliable, small and produced excellent quality. Fond memories.
Later I also used a Nikon FM-2 and even a Hasselblad 500CM, but my best memories are with the Olympus OM-1, starting out.
Prices were in Dutch Guilders.
Way before the internet, digital cameras and euros; hard to picture those days again.
I came across copies of my purchases when I cleaned up my attic. Kept these copies in my camera bag for a long time in case I was stopped at customs. I never was.

 

 



[23Nov09]
 

 

Superlatives are lacking to satisfactorily describe the pollution that is floating in stream, lakes, seas & oceans. And the effects is has on birds and fish.
This problem is in many respects beyond our horizon and easily ignored, but it shouldn't be.
Chris Jordan (www.chrisjordan.com) draws it to our attention again and how little is being done about it.

Death by pollution Chris describes: "...evidence of a slow-motion apocalypse in progress. I am appalled by these scenes, and yet also drawn into them with awe and fascination. The immense scale of our consumption can appear desolate, macabre, oddly comical and ironic, and even darkly beautiful; for me its consistent feature is a staggering complexity.
The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits."

THE TRASH VORTEX (www.greenpeace.org)
"The very thing that makes plastic items useful to consumers, their durability and stability, also makes them a problem in marine environments. Around 100 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year of which about 10 percent ends up in the sea. About 20 percent of this is from ships and platforms, the rest from land.

The North Pacific sub-tropical gyre covers a large area of the Pacific in which the water circulates clockwise in a slow spiral. Winds are light. The currents tend to force any floating material into the low energy central area of the gyre. There are few islands on which the floating material can beach. So it stays there in the gyre, in astounding quantities estimated at six kilos of plastic for every kilo of naturally occurring plankton. The equivalent of an area the size of Texas swirling slowly around like a clock. This gyre has also been dubbed “the Asian Trash Trail” the “Trash Vortex” or the “Eastern Garbage Patch”.

This perhaps wouldn’t be too much of a problem if the plastic had no ill effects. The larger items, however, are consumed by seabirds and other animals which mistake them for prey. Many seabirds and their chicks have been found dead, their stomachs filled with medium sized plastic items such as bottle tops, lighters and balloons. A turtle found dead in Hawaii had over a thousand pieces of plastic in its stomach and intestines.

Of course, not all plastic floats. In fact around 70 percent of discarded plastic sinks to the bottom. In the North Sea, Dutch scientists have counted around 110 pieces of litter for every square kilometre of the seabed, a staggering 600,000 tonnes in the North Sea alone. "

[DATE]
 

 

PROGRESS IN SEARCH FOR ALTERNATIVE TO FOSSIL FUELS

Qatar Airways has operated the world’s first commercial passenger flight powered by fuel made of natural gas. Flight QR076 from London-Gatwick to Doha was performed by Airbus A340-600 A7-AGC on 12Oct09.
Shell developed and produced the 50-50 blend of synthetic Gas to Liquids (GTL) kerosene and conventional oil-based kerosene fuel.
The State of Qatar is set to become the world’s leading producer of GTL kerosene, when it is put into commercial production from 2012. The fuel, as an alternative to conventional oil-based kerosene will contribute to diversification of aviation fuel supply. It also burns with lower sulphur dioxide and particulate emissions than pure conventional oil-based kerosene, making it attractive for improving local air quality at busy airports.
The blend of conventional kerosene will be known as GTL Jet Fuel.
The flight was the latest step in over two years of scientific work carried out by a consortium consisting of Airbus, Qatar Airways, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Science & Technology Park, Rolls-Royce, Shell and WOQOD into the benefits of using GTL Jet Fuel to power commercial aircraft.
Much of this work is being undertaken at the Qatar Science & Technology Park in Doha.
The GTL kerosene will be produced in commercial quantities by the Pearl GTL project currently under construction by Qatar Petroleum and Shell.     -World Airline Fleet News, Oct.2009

[17NOV09]
 

  Eddie Izzard, the talented standup comedian and actor, played the Heineken Musical Hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands last night. Tremendous show. How does one play huge halls by his lonesome, he must have thought.. Well, by projecting himself giant-like on the huge decor! Left and right were close ups, so we did not miss any of his mimicking. Before the show and during the break these screens showed 'the tweets' sent to Eddie, very entertaining!
Well done, yeah.... great show!
Eddie Izzard

Izzard's style is heavily influenced by Monty Python, especially in his use of a stream-of-consciousness delivery that jumps between topics as he free associates on stage. He does not generally work from a script, owing to his dyslexia.
In fact he adresses dyslexia in his show, pleading to change the name into something simpler (for someone who suffers from dyslexia), name it e.g. 'bonk'. It is funnier when he does it!

Eddie Izzard on Twitter

Eddie interrupts himself with new joke ideas, the characters he portrays turn into other characters, and he nonchalantly leaps from historical analysis to musings about household appliances. This often results in brief pauses in the routine which he fills with 'so, yeah,' and other verbal tics that have become his trademarks. Thinking aloud is also part of Izzard's ongoing attempt to make the process of writing the show itself part of the humour.
During this show he follows evolution, from dinosaurs, tools in the Stone Age, people learning to talk and why, Noah's Ark, farming, 1066 the Battle of Hastings, the Bayeux Tapestry (early frontline journalism) and the Battle of Thermopylae (2nd Persian invasion of Greece)... and his characters such as the Raptor (grrr...) and the Jazz Chicken reappear during the show. Trust Eddie to present this with his personal touch and feel for the absurd, Monthy Python-like, humor.! Weird beyond our visible bounderies of weirdness.

He frequently notes the reaction to a joke midstream by miming writing on his hand ("should be funnier" or "lost them there"), asks the audience questions, and verbally engages with hecklers.

On 18 March 2007, Izzard was listed as number 3 of the 100 Greatest British National Comedians (just behind Peter Kay at number 2 and Billy Connolly at number 1) as part of British television station Channel 4's ongoing 100 Greatest... series.

"I just talk complete bullshit. The history, the politics, I noticed that no one was using history, so there's a lot of history lying about the place, and it's all free, and it's on Wikipedia! You know, I use Wikipedia like a crazy idiot, now. Then I take all this stuff, and I regurgitate it
into a weird angle".

Eddie himself is also on Wikipedia
[15Nov09]
 

  Johnny Winter, the Blues musician and legend, played in Haarlem's Patronaat, in the Netherlands.
Johnny Winter   Johnny Winter

John Dawson 'Johnny' Winter III was born on 23Feb1944, so that would make him 64 when he played the Patronaat on 11Nov09. Many a musician with the life-style to match did not last that long. And Johnny shows the toll of hard living (read he was a heroin user at some point) too.
He played a mean gig here, powerful stuff.
While his voice had surprising power, I think (to my taste at least) the guitars overpowered his singing.
But what rythme this man played, he played that guitar at hispeed, none of that laidback stuff.
Good gig.
en.wikipedia.org
www.johnnywinter.net
[14Nov09]
 

 

Trick or Treat - Dutch style
Trick or Treat - Dutch style!

In parts of the Netherlands kids go from door to door on November 11th, celebrating 'Sint Maarten'. They don't dress up, but have their lanterns (often home-made) in their hands and sing a a few rhyming lines, practised for many days at school. And they will expect candy in return...

None of these kids probably know the tradition of celebrating the holy Martinus, bishop of Tours, born in 316 (Sabria, Hungary). In fact I learned about him when I googled this subject, the educational power of the internet!

It's a fun tradition.

www.kb.nl/dossiers/sintmaarten/sintmaarten.html DUTCH
(Sorry, I could not find an English explanation on the Net)

 

13Nov09
 

  Came across something that got my attention...

quote /.
http://discarted.wordpress.com/
"We are photographers & concerned citizens living in Los Angeles. / With the goal to shoot photographs freely in public spaces wherever, whenever, of whoever. / And a desire to get the word out, educate and engage. "

"Cause-
On October 31, 2009 while on my way home from the Hollywood and Highland area, I was unlawfully detained for 25 minutes by LASD Officers Richard Gylfie #2955 and Bayes #456 for taking two photographs of the turnstiles located at the Hollywood and Western Metro Station — an act that is completely legal and occurred in public space.
As you can see in the video (which can be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, Liveleak, Flickr and discarted.com), Officer Gylfie #2955 and Officer Bayes #456 took it upon themselves to ignore established law and Metro policies in order to bully me, humiliate me, and detain me for conducting a perfectly legal activity in public. More important, by illegally detaining me, Officers Gylfie and Bayes violated my constitutional rights, which protect me as a photographer and against unlawful stops, searches, and seizures." ./ end quote

Initially, I was outraged (confirming my fears for US Law Enforcement, having been interrogated in similar fashion in 2005) about this event and applauded this being put out in the open.
On second thought, the fact that photographer had a video & sound recording running from the start, explains why the photographer doesn't make any effort to explain to the policemen why he is taking pictures in the subway. He is about 'his constitutional rights' from the start. And then the policemen start about their rights... An arrest is made, things get from bad to worse.
The policemen make an effort to explain their motivation but get stuck in a loop.
The police officers' point of view is that someone taking pictures in a subway system, could be or lead to an act of terrorism. By Al Qaeda.
And that is the scary part for me, as a photographer and a person: policemen making random arrests of people involved in such innocent acts as street photography. Or whatever the police conjure up to be an activity that may lead to, if you think far enough down the line, a threat to public safety.
Al Qaeda has destroyed far more than a few buildings and the lives of the 9/11 victims & families..... They have kindled the fires of our most basic fears and it burns out of control; the bad guys in their caves don't need to take further action as we will turn on ourselves.
They win?

[11Nov09]
 

 

What do I know of global warning? Nothing much, except that in the history of Mother Earth it has happened before. It cooled down too. Up and Down. Much ado about what to do about it. Solar activity by that large lightbulb in the sky, and active volcanoes, effect our atmosphere far more than cars do. Cows make up a quarter of the world's pollution through their belching and farting. Brazil has a cattle herd of 200 million. Where to begin?
Meanwhile, in Alaska, communities are doomed to disappear because of coastal erosion. Kivalina is one of these communities that is gradually being washed away by the ocean, due to natural erosion, expedited by the effects of global warming. The ocean now no longer freezes up during early autumn, before the storms come, but much later in the year. People even use parts of derelict aeroplanes to fortify their coastline.

Last Days of Shishmaref
Shishmaref is another such community, between a rock and a hardplace: the ocean eating up the coastline and people moving out due to the lure of modern living.

Photographer Dana Lixenberg stayed in Shishmaref for several weeks in 2007. She documented Shishmaref, a village on a small island off the coast of Alaska, which is getting swallowed by the sea. Due to climate change, the island's permafrost layer - its main protection against erosion - is melting, leaving the sea little restraint from reclaiming what is left.
A fascinating book and document.
See also 5b4.blogspot.com

As such one can say that whatever happens, able to divert disaster by global warming or not, it certainly provides fascinating photography. If our species vanish from this earth, we will be well documented.

[10NOV09]
 

 
Reuters: Our World Now

I stumbled on the 2nd edition of this masterful product: The year 2008 in photos by Reuter's photographers.
Last year I had also bought the no.1 edition, but had forgotten to keep track of it possibly becoming a tradition. Am glad that they have done just that.
Engaging, often moving, photography of major events. And a rightful tribute to these news photographers.
[09Nov09]
 

 

'At the top of the hill he turned and studied the town.
Darkness coming fast. Darkness and cold. He put two of the coats over the boy's shoulders, swallowing him up parka and all.
I'm really hungry, Papa.
I know.
Will we be able to find our stuff?
Yes. I know where it is.
What if somebody finds it?
They won't find it.
I hope they dont.
They wont. Come on.
What was that?
I didnt hear a thing.
Listen.
I don't hear anything.
They listened. Then in the distance he heard a dog bark. He turned and looked toward the darkening town.
It's a dog, he said.
A dog?
Yes.
Where did it come from?
I dont know.
We're not going to kill it, are we Papa?
No. We're not going to kill it.
He looked down at the boy. Shivering in his coats. He bent over and kissed him on his gritty brow. We wont hurt the dog, he said. I promise.'

THE ROAD, by Cormac McCarthy


My son Alexander recommended me to read this, while 'on the road' ourselves. Unnerving and fascinating. Black on black.

Incredible but true: they made a film of this book... It is titled 'The Waste Land'. Starring Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Charlize Theron. Intend to see it.

[06Nov09]
 

 
Our hosts: Danielle & Neil Aird
Over the years I have been most fortunate in receiving wonderful reponse and support to my website. On some of my travels I have visited some of my staunch supporters or with whom I had that 'click'. This time we were welcomed in Kingston (Ontario), to visit Danielle & Neil Aird and we had the most warm-hearted and wonderful stay.
More can be read on my 'traveloque' : Autumn Leaves, Canada 2009.
[01Nov09]
 

  The following was written by Mark Twain as an Afterword (in a book called A PEN WARMED-UP IN HELL), and titled 'The Whole Human Race' (1907).
I found it rather fitting to open my Blog with this, now used as a Foreword...

'I have not read Nietzsche or Ibsen, nor any other philosopher, and have not needed to do it, and have not desired to do it; I have gone to the fountainhead for information-that is to say, to the human race.

Every man is in his own person the whole human race, with not a detail lacking. I am the whole human race without a detail lacking; I have studied the human race with diligence and strong interest all these years in my own person; in myself I find in big or little proportion every quality and every defect that is findable in the mass of the race. I knew I should not find in any philosophy a single thought which had not passed through my own head, not a single thought which had not passed through the heads of millions and millions of men before I was born; I knew I should not find a single original thought in any philosophy, and I knew I could not furnish one to the world myself, if I had five centuries to invent it in.

Nietzsche published his book, and was at once pronounced crazy by the world - by a world which included tens of thousands of bright, sane men who believed exactly as Nietzsche believed, but concealed the fact, and scoffed at Nietzsche. What a coward every man is! and how surely he will find it out if he will just let other people alone and sit down and examine himself. The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner.'

[29Oct09]

Henry Young offered the following Mark Tain quote, also an apt 'lesson in life':
"Most people are just about as happy as they want to be."

 

 

 

 
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Created: 29-Oct-2009